#Profitability, Resource Management

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How to increase Profitability by boosting billable hours and identifying deviations in your Agency

If you are part of the growing community of creative agencies, you are likely familiar with the current challenges facing the industry: from maximizing revenue to improving the profitability and efficiency of operations. In an increasingly competitive market, understanding and overcoming these obstacles is essential for success and long-term sustainability of the business.

Challenges in the Industry: A Deeper Look

Our recent survey reveals that more than 40% of agencies point out the need to maximize revenue and improve profitability as their main challenges. One of the most significant problems identified is the lack of operational visibility, which makes informed and effective decision-making difficult. In fact, 1 in 4 agencies highlights the need to centralize all their operations information in one place to overcome this hurdle.

Transparency is not only essential for building strong relationships with clients but also crucial for efficient internal management. Without clear visibility of operations, agencies face underutilization of resources and a decrease in profitability.

Identification and Management of Deviations

The deviation between estimated and actual time spent on projects is the main challenge for agencies, directly affecting their profitability. Our research shows that 1 in 2 agencies does not adequately track their deviations, resulting in inefficient management and unprofitable projects.

This is where the importance of transparency in project management comes in. Identifying the causes of deviations and having open communication with clients allows for the renegotiation of fees and improves alignment of expectations. Moreover, a detailed tracking of the hours and resources invested in each project is crucial for effective fee negotiation.

Strategies for Improving Profitability

To overcome these challenges, it is essential to adopt a strategic and anticipatory approach in managing the agency:

  • Increase Billable Hours: Ensure that each team member is making the most of their time, focusing on revenue-generating activities. It is key to use time tracking and project management tools to get a clear visibility of how work hours are distributed.
  • Strategic Deviation Management: Implement systems to identify and analyze deviations as soon as they arise. This will allow for timely adjustments and keep projects on the path to profitability.
  • Transparency with Clients: Open communication about progress, deviations, and rework strengthens trust and facilitates the renegotiation of fees based on the reality of the project.
  • Data-Based Fee Renegotiation: Use real and concrete data to discuss and justify fee adjustments with your clients. This not only improves profitability but also establishes a fairer and more equitable relationship.
  • Optimizing Talent: Address employee turnover and burnout by offering a balanced and wellness-focused work environment. A motivated and committed staff is fundamental for efficiency and creativity.

Discover how to increase billable hours: Transforming internal hours into billable hours

Efficiency and time optimization are key in the creative agency industry, where profitability is measured by the amount of billable hours. In this context, it is crucial to find a balance between productivity and creativity, particularly in the current remote work environment.

Time management tools are indispensable for maximizing productivity and streamlining workflows.

A significant opportunity to improve profitability is converting internal hours into billable hours. A considerable margin of agencies lacks visibility on how these hours are distributed, directly affecting profitability and resource management. It is vital to recognize and adjust the balance between hours dedicated to clients and those dedicated to internal matters to optimize operational efficiency.

To assess a project’s profitability, it is crucial to understand how it was quoted and the amount of resources and billable hours required. It is estimated that approximately 25% of an employee’s total time is dedicated to non-billable internal tasks, highlighting the need to address and optimize this aspect to improve profitability.

Small improvements in internal efficiency can have a significant impact on financial results. For example, reducing the time spent on internal matters and increasing billable hours from 74% to 82% can significantly improve billing opportunities.

Facing Challenges with Innovative Solutions

To overcome identified challenges, it is crucial to adopt innovative solutions that optimize project management and improve communication with clients. Visibility into processes with clients facilitates smoother feedback and allows for agile detection and addressing of deviations.

COR presents itself as a comprehensive solution designed to meet the current needs of creative agencies. By providing tools for data-based management, COR helps agencies automate processes, accurately measure worked and billed hours, and optimize project management. This enables informed decision-making and contributes to building more stable and profitable relationships with clients.

As an all-in-one management solution, COR directly addresses the critical points of creative agencies. By automating processes and providing a clear view of worked and billed hours, COR becomes an essential ally for informed decision-making and strengthening client relationships, thus driving a new level of profitability and efficiency in the creative agency.


Transforming the visibility of a problem into an asset and effectively managing deviations can make a difference in the profitability of your agency. By adopting a proactive and strategic approach, you will not only improve your bottom line but also strengthen the relationship with your clients and create a more positive and productive work environment for your team.

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